Another beautiful late winter, early spring day. Too nice to stay indoors.
I have my lunch with me once again. And my brilliant book ‘You can’t read this book’ by Nick Cohen which I might finish while I eat.
To arrive at what’s simply known in our house as ‘the park’ – my central place for all of my adult life. All deep thoughts and big decisions are brought here. And entering the park at the end of Greenbank Lane one of the park’s annual miracles is happening.
Traditionally these trees are always the first blossoms in our part of Liverpool. And from across the road I can see the trees have a softness now, their harsh winter outlines slightly blurred.
I want to think about The Florrie.
A lot of our work involves working with people in communities and enterprises and helping them to develop their ideas about what they do. Obviously most of this work is done with the people and in the place we’re talking about, We are called ‘a sense of place’ after all. But we always like to think and reflect on things too, and that’s what I’m up to today as I walk around and sit and think in the lovely park.
And it was loved and cherished by the people of the area until government cutbacks forced its closure in the 1980s. Attempts were made to reopen it, but eventually the place fell into decline and, almost, ruin.
But over the last seven years a determined group of mostly local people, who we are now working with, have more than saved The Florrie. They’ve restored it and now re-opened it as a centre for everyone in the local community and a major heritage resource and events venue for Merseyside and indeed anyone who wants to come to this beautiful historic place.
William Roscoe’s up there of course, as someone who lived in the Dingle. and footballers Robbie Fowler and Ian Callaghan. Plus local boys Ringo Starr and Billy Fury. Their mate Gerry Marsden, of Gerry and the Pacemakers is a Florrie old boy and did his first gigs here.
And sport has always been important here. And is remembered in the changing exhibitions in the lovely Heritage Resource Centre.
But now a brilliant future is being created out of The Florrie’s past. All of the local community, and everyone else who wants to come and use all the spaces they have for events, conferences, sports, activities and weddings.
Find out much more about The Florrie and what’s happening there at their new website.
And a song for the day? One for the cherry trees I think, from John Spillane.